Small Business Profiles

Detailed information for 2004




Every 2 years

Record number:


The Small Business Profiles present selected revenue, expense, profit and balance sheet items as well as financial ratios on small business in Canada.

Data release - November 20, 2006


The Small Business Profiles present selected revenue, expense, profit and balance sheet items as well as financial ratios on small business in Canada. The profiles are available from Industry Canada who provide the data through their Performance Plus on the website --

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: January to December of the following year


  • Business performance and ownership
  • Financial statements and performance
  • Small and medium-sized businesses

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of small businesses which are defined as those having annual revenue between $30,000 and $5,000,000. The information is presented by industry using the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) to the 6 digit level.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The Business Register (BR) is used as a sampling frame for T1s on the BR, and a supplementary frame, created from the T1 Assessed Records File from CCRA, is used for T1s not on the BR. Overall, 66,190 enterprises fell in our target population, (between $30,000 and $5 million). For the BR, the sampling unit is an "establishment cluster". This is a group of establishments belonging to one enterprise, and having the same industry and province or territory.

The sample is allocated to achieve a constant coefficient of variation (CV) of the combined (T1 plus T2) estimate of total revenue for all Industries based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) by province cells. Within each cell, the take-some sample is allocated between the two take-some strata proportionally to the square root of the stratum total revenue.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files.

The Profiles are produced using information extracted from tax returns submitted to the Canada Custom and Revenue Agency (CCRA) for the tax year. The financial statistics for all industries are compiled from a sample of unincorporated businesses and a census of incorporated businesses reporting total revenue between $30 thousand and $5 million inclusive. Tax Data Division of Statistics Canada maintains the file.

Two CCRA files define the universe of unincorporated and incorporated businesses in Canada: the Statistical Universe File - T1 and the Statistical Universe File - T2, respectively. All incorporated businesses, beginning in year 2000, are required to submit a GIFI schedule with their tax return. Therefore a complete census of GIFI schedules for small businesses for the T2 statistical universe file (770,020 businesses) is available. The T1 sample file is a compilation of paper filers and electronic filers.

Error detection

Once sampling is complete, the sample selection specifications are sent to CCRA. Captured data are run through edit programs, which identify errors, inconsistencies and extreme values. Data that fail to meet predetermined criteria are referred to analysts for appropriate action. At this stage of processing, all industries are handled in similar fashion. A second set of edits are also applied to the data after capture to ensure that basic inconsistencies, such as sub-totals not adding to totals, do not appear.


Imputation is the process whereby records with missing data (recipient records) have values assigned based on the data of records with more complete data (donor records). Imputation is done using the "nearest neighbour" method - using matching variables, the donor record most like the recipient record is identified and the information from this donor record is used. The matching variables are usually industry, total revenue and total expenses. Imputation is used in two cases - when a data point reported by a business is judged "extreme" or when a business fails to itemize all or part of the information.


After edit and imputation have been completed, estimation methods are used to relate the sample to the population. Each record is allocated a weight according to its probability of selection in the sample. The weight reflects the proportion of the population actually observed in the sample. Estimates deemed of unacceptable quality, or which violate confidentiality rules, are identified and removed. Using the weights, values are calculated for each variable in each industry, area and revenue grouping combination.

Quality evaluation

An historical trend analysis was carried out at aggregated industry and geographic levels to identify potential issues in the data. Due to definition and methodological changes over time, only extreme values or trends were verified in detail. Internal consistency checks were applied to derived totals and ratios.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

All data are subject to confidentiality restrictions prior to release. For the Profiles, the following rules are used to determine whether data meet confidentiality restrictions.
A) A profile will not be published if the sample size is less than 5 records.
B) A half or quartile will not be published if there are fewer than 4 sample records falling into the half or quartile.
C) If a half or quartile is suppressed, the corresponding half or quartile is also suppressed.

Halves and quartiles data suppressed due to confidentiality will appear as an lowercase x in the cell in a profile. The revenue ranges will also be an lowercase x in the cell.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Code CV Range (%) Description
A Less than 5.01 Good
B 5.01 to 15.00 Satisfactory
C 15.01 to 33.33 Poor, use with caution
F Greater than 33.33 Suppressed

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